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Danny's Reading: Happiness

Average: 4.4 (14 votes)

I plan to live forever...So far, so good.

And I know that's an odd way to start an article, but there is a chain of thought that leads up to this statement, so let's get on with it and see if we can connect the dots…

It dawned on me this morning, as I bounced out of bed at six ayem, that my lifestyle has changed drastically since this time last year. For a start, I now use words like 'bounced', 'bed' and 'six ayem' in the same sentence without eliciting looks of disbelief or hysterical fits of laughter from those who know me well. Not too long ago, I’d have had to use words like 'crawled' and 'noon' in order to sound even slightly credible. Not too long ago, six a.m. happened to other people - namely, insomniacs and maniacs of the sweatband and spandex variety.

I bump into a large number of these '-iacs' (sometimes quite literally - joggers have the stamina to go on forever, apparently, but they don't seem to have developed the knack for steering around obstacles - i.e. me) every morning as I walk to work. And that’s another thing that's changed over the past twelve months - I walk to work. Every morning. Granted, it's only a fifteen-minute walk, at a leisurely pace, but that's still eleven minutes longer than it takes to drive there. And I walk back home again after work. In fact, as much as possible, I walk everywhere. Which may have something to do with the twenty-odd kilos that I've lost in weight. Well, that, and the fact that I now eat more salads and less deep-fried Mars bars...

(Okay... that line above was thrown in for humorous effect, and I'd like the record to show that I've never actually eaten a single deep-fried Mars bar in my life. But that doesn't mean they don't exist. Apparently, they first went on sale in a chip shop in Scotland, and somehow the idea caught on, to the extent that there are now cafes in Dubai that sell them. Let the record also show that I believe that whoever came up with the idea should be arrested for crimes against confectionary, and shot at point-blank range by a firing squad consisting solely of dentists and dieticians. Thank you. I apologise for the interruption. And now back to the scheduled article...)

Now, at this point, you may be forgiven for thinking that this is an article about good health and fitness. Let me hasten to assure you that it's not. I haven't become a health nut, and I have no intention of ever becoming one. I don't smoke any more, that much is true - but I don't smoke any less either. In fact, I smoke the same amount that I always have. And I feel that there's no better way to end an enjoyable evening out, or in, than with a glass of Jack Daniels, or chilled white wine. In the case of the evening being less than enjoyable, perhaps two glasses. Or three.

Or a bottle of tequila.

I tend to go to bed late... in fact, I rarely go to bed on the same day that I wake up. And there is nothing in the world that tastes better than freshly baked Maltese bread dripping with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

So...this is not an article about health. If you're new here, then you have the right to feel slightly confused, but to my avid readers and loyal fans...well, both of you ought to know by now that these articles rarely end in the way they start. Mainly because I have no idea where I'm going myself, until I get there. Then I look back, and wonder if it makes any sense...

The point is that none of these things that I now find myself doing started as a quest for a healthier lifestyle. The only reason I wake up at six is because my son started school last year, and there were so many extra things that needed to be done in the morning that an earlier start to the day was sort of forced upon me. I was pleasantly surprised, when I got used to it, to find that I had gained at least two extra hours in the day; five at the weekend. I started walking to work because the car broke down one day, and I didn't have the patience to wait for a bus, or the necessary nerves of steel required to actually ride it as the driver hurtled around bends in the road at speeds usually reserved for fighter planes and small missiles of mass destruction. So I walked, and I was pleased to discover that you can't get stuck in traffic jams when on foot, so I kept walking. And lost weight, which resulted in a smaller stomach, which in turn resulted in less capacity to fill it with food.

All of which makes me happy.

This is, you see, an article about happiness, and doing what makes you happy. It's an article about life. Because life is too short.

It's too short to waste half of it asleep. It's too short to waste it slumped in a stationary car getting nowhere. And it's too short to sit around too bloated to move. As we go on through life, we pretty much have no idea where we're going until we get there, and then we look back and wonder if it made any sense...

Of course, I don't really plan to live forever. But I do want to make it seem like forever, so I'll keep doing the things that make me happy, because that's what life is all about. And if jogging makes you happy, well...go ahead. And if deep-frying Mars bars makes you happy, well... um...why don’t you take up jogging instead? As for me, I'll get on with it and connect the dots.

So far, so good.

By Danny